Following the initial decision to grant planning permission, further work has taken place to agree additional detailed information required to be submitted under the terms of planning conditions; to consider requests for ‘non-material amendments’ to the scheme, and; to ensure that appropriate financial arrangements are in place for off-site mitigation and compensation measures and to secure the restoration of the site if necessary. The process of discharging the requirements of planning conditions is continuing, with approval now given for details required to be agreed by planning conditions relating to phases 1 to 4 of construction works at the Woodsmith Mine site.
Further work is expected over the coming months to agree other matters required by planning conditions, reflecting the different main phases of construction and refinements to the detailed design and construction methodology for the scheme during the early stages of the project. The focus of the work during the remainder of 2018 is expected to be on preparation for sinking of the main shafts and the Authority is liaising with the developer on specific requirements and details for this stage of the works.
The main construction phase for the Mine is expected to be complete during 2021. The National Park Authority continues to monitor the progress of the development and liaise as necessary with other relevant organisations, including the Environment Agency, Natural England and the local highways authority.
The terms of the original (2015) legal agreements between the developer and the National Park Authority and the developer and North Yorkshire County Council have been carried forward to the amended planning permission granted by the Authority in February 2018. The terms of the original legal agreement between Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council and the developer also remain in effect and are unchanged by the decision by the National Park Authority to grant permission for amendments to the development.
A Compensation & Mitigation Action Plan has been approved by the National Park Authority which provides a framework for delivery of related elements of the Section 106 agreement. The Plan, which will be kept under review, identifies how contributions will be spent.
In the first year, a number of projects were completed under the Landscape and Ecology contribution, including; the enhancement of 4km of the Coast to Coast walk; installation of a new information sign at Littlebeck; reconstruction of 750m of historic railway fencing at Goathland; construction of several ponds in Rosedale to intercept mine water discharge from old mine workings; path realignment and habitat restoration at Harwood Dale; refurbishment and conservation of the windows at Old St Stephen’s Church in Fylingdales, and; drainage and surfacing of both the Lyke Wake Walk and Cleveland Way. 12 hectares of new deciduous woodland has been planted through the contribution for carbon offsetting. This planting is the first stage of a scheme which will see over 7,000 hectares of new woodland created in the park over the next 100 years. Contributions for Tourism and Local Employment that are to be delivered through third party organisations have now been paid over. These contributions are being used to promote the North York Moors area and to support young people in gaining skills for employment.
Work towards delivering the agreed Section 106 commitments will continue through the next year with a further 30ha of woodland creation programmed for the winter months; a new work programme of Landscape and Ecology projects to include the preparation of a dark skies audit and management plan; improvements on the Cleveland Way at Boggle Hole to reduce tidal erosion; conservation projects on the River Esk and a conservation scheme for local historic monuments. Tourism promotion and employment activities will also continue throughout the year.
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